LS Legal News Bulletin
Grenada Citizenship through Investment - Overview
Thursday 1st September 2022
Liliya Scott, Heather Bain and Esther Nyack-Alexis
The webinar Why Consider Grenada for Citizenship through Investment? took place last week. Our Management Director Liliya Scott, Heather Bain and Esther Nyack-Alexis talked about Grenada as a country and life there, eligibility criteria and Investment options, E-2 visa to the USA, and more.
In case you could not join us, you can still watch the recording via the link. Want to ask your question? Post it under the video on our YouTube channel — we will make sure you get an answer from the speaker.
Based on the webinar discussions, we will post a series of blog posts on our website.
Heather Bain: Good afternoon, everybody. My name is Heather Bain, and I'm very grateful you could join us today. I represent ATB Global Mobility, a company I founded a few years ago to offer citizenship through investment options for clients interested in second citizenship for more access to travel freely and as I am a Canadian and Grenadian myself.
I appreciate and understand the value of having another passport. Plus, I am based in Grenada, which I believe gives our clients a true and honest approach to this type of investment since we are on the ground and know most of the developers and CBI unit members personally.
Esther Nyack-Alexis: Good afternoon everybody and welcome. Thank you very much for joining us today. I am the Chief Executive Officer of Grenada Investment Partners. I'm an approved and authorised local agent for the Grenada citizenship by investment program.
I'm also based in Grenada. We have been in operations since 2018, and we have successfully processed applications from all over the world. I understand the importance of second citizenship and therefore can provide tailored services to meet our clients' needs.
Liliya Scott: I am the Managing Partner of LS legal solicitors. We are a leading immigration law firm in the United Kingdom, assisting clients to move to the UK. We've also successfully assisted some of our clients in relation to global immigration. We would be happy to continue our legal assistance, not just in the UK, but in UAE; we work closely with partners globally and constantly looking for better options for our clients to obtain second or even third citizenship. And therefore, today we want to open the door to the citizenship programme in Grenada.
I think today, our aim is to go through some of the questions that most of our clients are asking. And also, to tell a little bit about ourselves, what we can do for you. We also can provide accountancy and business concierge services. Without further ado, let's just talk about what we can offer to our clients.
A question to the ladies since you enjoy living in Grenada and enjoying the weather -
Why do we have to come here? Why do we have to get second or third citizenship with you guys? And, what's so special about the investment opportunities?
Heather Bain: Grenada is a very special place to me as I spent more than half of my life here, having moved from Canada at a very early age with my parents. It is located in the Caribbean, which means we enjoy the warm, comfortable weather year-round, and it is one of the safest places to live. I think the safety aspect is huge for people looking to invest nowadays and Grenada.
We have very little crime, and we can walk around freely and not have to worry. There are many different communities that live here. We have Indians, Caribbean Indians, Chinese people, Italians, Africans, Germans, Americans, and British people just to name a few.
When you think of the Caribbean, sometimes you think it's just one type of community that's here. That's not really true. A lot of people do come. It's a more relaxed lifestyle. It's an attractive place to be less stressed than many other places in the world.
These different communities add to the diversity of the island, and we have a high acceptance of other cultures. I would say investors are attracted to Grenada because our passport offers visa-free travel to over 145 countries. We do have access to the USA E-2 visa. That's another big draw for people who are looking into these programs.
Whereas the other Caribbean programs do not offer that, it's our competitive edge. Another draw here is that we have St. George's University, which has a medical program and the veterinary program, as well as arts and sciences. We do enjoy a number of students that come over from the US, Canada, Africa, and China.
Another advantage is that after you've been residents for over a year in Grenada, then you are able to get a scholarship here and be treated as a Grenadian too so that it can give you a break in their fees. Perhaps Esther can continue a little bit on what you think are your advantages in your experience.
Esther Nyack-Alexis: Yeah, definitely. As Heather mentioned, the E-2 visa is definitely one of the attractions, the visa-free access to different countries. We even have visa-free access to Russia and also to the Schengen area in Europe. So that's quite attractive to some clients when they're doing business. It's the ease of travel and not having to apply for visas. Of course, we've had few people that would've obtained second citizenship and came to actually move and live here.
Another thing that a lot of people sometimes want to do, and we've had people settle here. So that's another attraction to having second citizenship as well.
Liliya Scott: Okay. Very interesting. What about the Schengen area? As you mentioned, it's a visa-free area. Is that three months at one stay, what is the restriction to come and visit Europe?
Esther Nyack-Alexis: It's six months at the moment. They would be allowed to stay for six months and then they would have to leave and possibly return again. Or they can then apply for other visas if they want to stay in the Schengen area for longer.
Liliya Scott: Okay. Is that just the Schengen area or are there other European countries that are added? Can they travel to Switzerland?
Esther Nyack-Alexis: They can, I would have to check the list, but I believe they can travel to Switzerland. I believe that's on the list.
Liliya Scott: Oh, very interesting. What about the program itself? Could you give us an overview of the investment program that you have, how long does it take? How much does it cost?
I think that our typical client is a husband and wife, and two children. I know that when you make an application to other programs and for other citizenship, the difference in the age of dependent children is different. What are your 18-year-old children? Get a feel of the program, how easy it is, and how great it is. And it is not expensive! I think that would be a perfect combination for our clients.
Heather Bain: Okay. So, clients can choose between the donation option through a government fund, or they can invest in an approved real estate project.
We'll give them all the different details and options so that they can make the best choice for themselves. People do choose for different reasons. We try to understand exactly what they're looking for and then make recommendations. Once they've decided which option they choose, the process will then involve us working very closely with them to help.
We do have a list that they need to provide such as their IDs, police records, and bank statements, and then we'll help them fill out the forms and we give them assistance through that entire process so that we can ensure that their application has the best chance of success.
After that, the application goes through a review and very strict due diligence. After that has happened, we then submit the file to the CBI unit (citizenship by investment unit). This is where Esther will take over the process. There are submission fees.
Once it's submitted, it would take about three to four months for the documents to be reviewed. If the unit has any questions based on the information given, then they will revert to Esther. And then, we will go back to the client if they need more information. We really do try to advise our clients to explain everything and be very open, because everything does come up in the due diligence process.
We don't want to have any delays. If you just give all the information clearly and accurately, then it does minimise the delay. It takes about three to four months. And then we'll get a notification from the unit that the application has been approved, after which you do then submit the investment.
You will have about 30 days in which they need to submit that amount. And at that stage, that's when the citizenship certificate and the passports are issued, and then we send them out by courier to you. There is no need for you to come to the island to be present during this process. You can submit everything to us.
We send everything in, and you then get your passports. Again, there is no requirement for you to be on the island. After five years of having the citizenship or just before the expiry of that, then you will renew the passport and you do have it for life. You can pass it on - if you had no children during the process of application and now you have children, then you can apply for your children to become citizens.
It includes siblings, unmarried siblings that have no children. You can also apply for parents, or grandparents that are dependents. With children, the age is under 17. They can apply with their parents. If they're over 17, they can apply to up to 30 and they will have to then just get their due diligence to be conducted on them. Once they are over 30, then they would have to apply for themselves as the main applicant.
I would say that if they're investing under the donation option, depending on the composition of the family, it could be between $240,000 to $250,000. That includes the government contribution of $200,000 plus the additional fees; according to the family composition, if they were investing under the real estate option, I would say that can go from about $330,000 to about $340,000.
It depends again on the composition of the family. What some real estate developers will do to make their offer attractive; they will offer various returns on the investment; some will offer a form of a buyback, or some will try to assist with a bit of funding. That's where our expertise will come in. We will make recommendations to the clients as to which ones we feel might be best suited to their needs.